RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 29 -- The North Carolina Department of Insurance issued the following news release:
Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of four individuals accused of participating in an embezzlement scheme involving $5.3 million.
Edward Roland Steed, 67, of 109 Wind Dance Lane, Swansboro, is charged with:
Obtaining Property by False Pretense (7 counts)
Embezzlement (7 counts)
Larceny by Employee (7 counts)
Corporate Malfeasance (7 counts)
Felony Conspiracy (20 counts)
Marvin Lyle Quinn, 55, of 120 Cassedale Drive, Goldsboro, is charged with:
Felony Conspiracy (7 counts)
Edward Earl Waters, 61, of 610 Walston Ave., Kinston, is charged with:
Franklin Ronnie Steed, 65, of 453 Flat Swamp Lake Road, Denton, is charged with:
Obtaining Property by False Pretense (6 counts)
Embezzlement (6 counts)
Larceny by Employee (6 counts)
Corporate Malfeasance (6 counts)
Felony Conspiracy (6 counts)
The North Carolina Department of Insurance opened a criminal investigation in November 2011 after officials from Discovery Insurance in Kinston notified the department of financial discrepancies in the company's claims department.
Edward Steed, a former employee of Discovery Insurance, is accused of fraudulently using company claim funds to write checks to fictitious businesses owned by Quinn and Waters. Franklin Steed is accused of receiving and cashing checks from Discovery Insurance that Edward Steed had allegedly made out to names of fictitious individuals. The men are accused of conspiring to split the embezzled funds.
After reviewing checks written from 2005 to 2011, investigators allege that the scheme resulted in more than $5.3 million embezzled from the company. Discovery Insurance has been cooperative in the investigation.
On Aug. 28, a Lenoir County grand jury indicted the four men; Edward Steed was arrested in Carteret County, Waters was arrested in Lenoir County and Franklin Steed was arrested in Davidson County. Quinn was arrested in Lenoir County on Aug. 29.
Edward Steed's bond was set at $2.5 million; Waters, Quinn and Franklin Steed were each placed under a $1 million bond.
The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn state law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud.
"Fighting insurance fraud is one of my top priorities. Eliminating fraud, waste and abuse in our insurance marketplace helps keep rates low for North Carolinians," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. "I am very proud of the efforts and successes of the Department of Insurance's criminal investigators."
Since Goodwin took office in 2009, criminal investigators have received more than 14,000 complaints, resulting in more than 600 arrests, 333 criminal convictions and more than 110 pending court cases. These efforts have delivered more than $48.5 million in restitution and recoveries for victims.
An estimated 10 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes toward the payment of fraudulent claims. To report suspected fraud, contact the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.com.
TNS hc11-120831-JF78-4008990 StaffFurigay